Text of speech by General Hugh Shelton, the Chairman of the U.S. Army Joint Chiefs of Staff (1997-2001) at t an international conference in Paris on September 1, 2014, titled “First Anniversary of Camp Ashraf massacre, Middle East in crisis, threats and solutions”:Madam Rajavi, distinguished guests, one and all members of the Dias ladies and gentlemen and especially those that are watching today from camp Liberty Salam.
It is indeed a pleasure for me to be here today and join you in honoring and commemorating those 52 who were killed in camp Ashraf in a massacre and remind all that their sacrifice was not in vain. They are true patriots; true heroes, true heroines and they provided an example for all of us in the rooms today and those watching to follow.
However I must admit that it is also painful for me and others, you just heard from Secretary Ridge, that the whole US delegation as we witnessed the ineptness of President Obama’s administration and our affectless and cowardly State Department in dealing with camp Ashraf and now the ongoing humanitarian crisis developing in camp Liberty.
It is astonishing to me to see the actions that the United States just took to protect a small religious sect in Iraq while 3000 Iranians that were promised protection by United States and whose safety was supposed to be guaranteed continue to face imminent disaster at camp Liberty that is just not right.
What about the US promise to protect the residents? Why is the ambassador and his team even afraid to visit it has been almost 5 months since the US ambassador visited the camp.
That is shabby even compared to the one visit just recently made by the UN delegation in the last two and a half month. Why is it that they are not going out to camp Liberty? Is it because they are afraid to witness the appalling conditions that those in camp Liberty have to endure? Is it because that they don’t want to see what the Iraqis are imposing upon them like fuel sieges being denied the right to remove sewage, the opportunity to attend a funeral or the fact that the food and medical supplies are being denied? All of those were promised by Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Dan Fried which were part of President Obama’s administration so we need to hold President Obama personally responsible for this lack of activity that is taking place at camp Liberty.
I cannot even imagine a cowardly US ambassador hiding behind the walls of his embassy while 3000 residents at camp Liberty have to fend for themselves again it is just not right.
Between President Obama’s lack of leadership and US embassy’s lack of anything in Iraq it is almost enough to make you ill. However it appears now that the Obama administration has recognized what many of us have been telling him and his administration for months if not years that Maliki was an Iranian regime puppet and now that this has been proven true and we witnessed him depart under less that favorable conditions he has left Iraq in shambles. Now we are facing and Iraq and the entire Middle East is facing even a greater crisis from ISIS. We all welcome the arrival of the new Prime Minister Al Ebadi in Iraq however it is now time to see if he is going to continue in the footsteps of Maliki or he is going to recognize the humanitarian crisis that is ongoing in camp Liberty and step forward and provide leadership.
I think as Secretary Ridge said it is absolutely disgraceful that the United States has asked the MEK to renounce their membership in order to enter into the United States. That is a flawed policy and the MEK should not tolerate such a disgraceful policy by the Obama administration.
You can rest assure that those of us here today will stand by them to the last man and we speak for those thirty or so prominent individuals in America that speak on behalf of the MEK. So what should the Obama administration do? Let me cover that very briefly first and foremost Mr. President you need to acknowledge that we guaranteed the safety of the MEK and start acting like it and we need to say that an attack on the residents of camp Liberty constitutes an attack on America itself.
Secondly declare camp Liberty a protected zone insert a special operations team they are not afraid to go to camp Liberty to provide whatever is needed including air power to protect the residents of camp Liberty. At the same time it sends a strong signal that camp Liberty is a protected area. Third quit cooperating with the Iranian government who has killed our soldiers in Iraq under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
The real terrorists are in Tehran and the solution is to hold the Iranian mullahs responsible and accountable. The incumbent Iranian regime is not part of any solution it is the problem not only in Iraq but throughout the Middle East. Quit accepting their meddling in Iraq let alone their cooperation with it. We need to say those are our red lines no cooperation no coordination and no sharing of information with Iran. That constitutes a red line that must not be crossed.
Any attempt to cooperate in any way with Iran is betraying these 52 individuals in camp Ashraf in addition to hundreds of thousands of soldiers that were killed in Iraq trying to carry out the mission that President Obama and President Bush set them on. Fourth it is almost imperative to regain the trust and cooperation of the Sunnis and the Obama administration needs to use the air power that we are currently using against ISIS to assist the Sunnis and the Iraqi tribes without whose support the ISIS would not be repealed. Fifth they need help to gain the trust of the Iraqi tribes and the Sunnis in order to do that the Shia militia groups that are fighting in Iraq today must be disbanded. Basically the Shia militia groups are similar to the ISIS and must be dealt in the same manner.
Finally President Obama your administration needs to wake up and look at the strategic goals in Iraq and throughout the region that is in line with the goals of the United States and the rest of Europe. If you that you will see that unquestionably that the Iranian regime must be gone they must be displaced they must be taken out.
If you want to be on the side of victory you must align yourself with the MEK. The mullahs see the alignment of Mrs. Rajavi’s 10 point program with the democratic systems of Europe and the United States which is one reason why they are so fearful of MEK.
Making their fears come true should be the goal of the Obama administration and this is the greatest thing we could do to honor the US soldiers who fought and died in Iraq and simultaneously honor the memory of those brave souls who were massacred in camp Ashraf.
Merci and all the best. Thank you